tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN June 8, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EDT
and we had to settle with aig because it was during their bailout, and as one to walk away from it. host: what is the economy like around westfield, mass.? caller: 1 i first started this, it was all right. in the past month, i have had to do a job since january. -- two jobs since january. host: thank you for the call. host: thank you for the call. guest: small businesses are the biggest generator of jobs. it really is the ipo's that had a critical mass and hire thousands of people all of the sudden because they have so much money. that said, one of the critical issues he is pointing out is what small businesses have been saying. they're not borrowing because they do not have the man. there are credit constraints out
there as well, but there is a demand issue, and this is one of the biggest problems. he would be interesting to hear what part of the fabrication business he is entitled one shining light has been a renaissance in the manufacturing sector. we had a setback in the month of may because of the disruptions created by the earthquake in japan, but the manufacturing sector has regained a lot of momentum, is growing much more rapidly than the rest of the economy, and, in fact, they are looking to on-shore. if u.s. something innovative, the wage differentials have narrowed, and in china, since they do not protect intellectual property, they are finding they want to come to the united states because they did not want to lose his innovation by having somebody replicated in china. this is the name new movement. it would be interesting to hear how big is small business is.
many manufacturers in the united states are looking. having the skills he has as well as one of the areas in the manufacturing sector. these are the areas where the manufacturing sector is hiring and the consumer restructure their business. the question is, is a fast enough for soon enough for someone like your listener in massachusetts? that is the hard part. host: as a michigan-native, you are seen as a cross your home state, and especially in the detroit area. what is a long-term outlook with regard to manufacturing that creates the middle class jobs people have relied on in the greater detroit area? guest: when i graduated high school in 1980, there was a guy who had a locker next to me. we were also the home of the
michigan militia in michigan -- people who came home, disenfranchised from the army. they had gone into the army because they could not become uaw workers. instead of joining the michigan militia, he killed themselves. really tragic. my best friend had to go into a party and plants produce in our backyard for food. i brought extra money to school so she could get money for lunch. i saw this firsthand. you have to remember, as the manufacturing sector comes back, michigan has in the auto makers produce profits again. there is an issue on the bailout's that we can get into if you want, but we are not generous set -- generating my stepfather's type of job. host: diane swonk, thank you for joining us, the chief economist from mesirow financial to join
us from chicago. we now want to take it to capitol hill and the hearing for fbi director robert mahler, which is getting under way by the senate judiciary committee. you can remember, the president wanted to extend his tenure for another two years we will are going to hear from the fbi director and -- years. we will be hearing from the fbi director. thank you for being with us. "washington journal" is back tomorrow morning, at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. have a great day. >> good morning, everybody. good morning, director mueller, i prematurely our last hearing here complimented you and said this is the last time you have
to come to the hearing and put up with the senate jea, --judiciary committee. welcome back. over a month ago met with the president. he had requested congress authorize a limited extension of robert morris services, director of f.b.i., we have a law that normally limits the f.b.i. directorship to one 10-year term . a way to span presidential terms and give it the kind of independence that somebody in this position wants and needs. the president spoke of the ongoing threats facing the united states and the leadership transition at other agencies like the defense department. and central intelligence agency. he asked us to join together in extending director mueller's
leadership for the sake of our nation's safety and security. i was convinced of the call the president made. following the death of osama bin laden i urged all americans to support our president, his efforts to protect our nation, and keep americans safe. with the 10th anniversary of september 11, 2001, attacks approaching and the face of continuing threats, threats both within and without our borders, we must all join together for the good of the country and all americans. i'm pleased in a law enforcement matter like this we have kept it out of any kind of partisanship. republicans and democrats have expressed support for the president's request to maintain stability and continuity in the national security leadership team. senator grassley, this committee's ranking republican, joined me along with senators feinstein, chambliss, chair and
vice chair of the select committee on intelligence, introducing a bill to permit the gum gum -- incumbent f.b.i. director to serve for up to two additional years. chairman lamar smith, the house judiciary committee, has spoken to me. he support's the president's request. and i was encouraged to see reports that senator mcconnell, the senate republican leader, supports the president's request. the bipartisan bill in the committee's agenda provides for limited exception to statutory term of the service to the f.b.i. director. it will be on our agenda tomorrow morning. it will allow direct mueller to continue service for additional two years until september 2013 at the request of the president. this extension is intended to be a one-time exception. something incidentally that director mueller has personally urged, and not a permanent extension or modification of the statutory design.
the president could have nominated a new director of the f.b.i., someone who could serve for 10 years. would be there well after president obama's own term of office expired, instead the president is asking congress to extend the term of service for a proven leader for a brief period give the extenuating circumstances facing our country. bob served this nation with valor and integrity as a marine, as a federal prosecutor at all levels. he againancepsed the call of service when president bush nominated him in july of 2001 to serve as director of the f.b.i. i was chairman of the committee at that time. i expedited that nomination through the senate. he was confirmed in just two weeks. from the nomination to the confirmation. in the days just before september 11, 2001, bob mueller served tirelessly and selflessly
as the director of the f.b.i. i felt president bush, even though of different party than i, made a very good choice and i saw no need to expand the hearing to hold it. we moved very, very quickly. director mueller's handle the bureau significant transformation since september 11, 2001, with focus. he's worked with congress in this committee, testifying as recent as march of one of our periodic oversight hearings. it was very evident at that hearing, if i could be personal for a moment, that bob mueller was raised -- laid down the burdens of this office and take off with his family as he's done throughout his career. bobe is now answering duty's call. i should tell you, director, what the president said to me when i asked him if he had talked to you about this idea, he said, not yet, but bob mueller is a marine and he answers the call of duty. those are the president's
request as a patriotic american bob mueller is continuing to give his service to a grateful nation. senator grassley asked director mueller appear at today's hearing. he's cooperated and has been doing so. i thank him. today we also welcome back to the committee, jim comey, who served as u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york and for two years as deputy attorney general during the george w. bush administration, where he worked closely with director mueller. i told mr. comey earlier it was nice to have him back in this room where he spent a lot of time in the committee walls, hearing testimony about the constitutionality about passing exception to the statute. which we created the 10-year term. i thank senator grassley for his cooperation. i hope we now have the hearing. we report the bill in the form that senator grassley suggested without unnecessary delays. i yield to senator grassley and
then to director mueller. >> thank you very much for holding this hearing and welcome back, director mueller. this hearing is the first hearing in 37 years to specifically address the 10-year term of director of f.b.i. in 1968, congress passed a law requiring f.b.i. director to be appointed with advice and consent of the senate. despite the passage of this law, director 4506r -- hoover served until his september in 1972. following his death, a number of high profile scandals came to light. this committee held a hearing in 1974 to address legislation limiting the term of the f.b.i. director to provide for additional congressional oversight of the f.b.i. director and most importantly to insulate the office from political control of the president. in 1976, congress acted by limiting the director of f.b.i.
to the current 10-year nonrenewable term. congress did so to prevent the accumulation of excess power by the director, as well as to provide some political independence for the f.b.i. the statute expressly prohibits reappointment of a director. despite knowing about director mueller's impending term limit and initiating a search for a successor led by the attorney general and vice president biden, president obama chose not to send the senate a nomination for director of f.b.i. instead, the president has decided that notwithstanding those statutory provisions, director mueller should continue to serve in this position for another two years. although i do not think that our position on legislation to permit this result should depend on personalities, director mueller has performed admirably has f.b.i. director. and was the recent death of bin laden and the approaching 10-year anniversary of the september 11 attacks, we do in
fact have unique circumstances warranting a one-time limited extension of the term of this particular director. against this backdrop and somewhat with a heavy heart, i join in co-sponsoring s. 1103, a bill that would extend the term of the current f.b.i. director for two years. but two years is as far as i will go. director mueller has done a fine job, but he's not indispensable and the likely continuation of the war on terror for many years is not so singularly a circumstance to justify extending the f.b.i. director's term. in two years no matter what, someone else will be nominated and confirmed for this job. although i support this bill, i have resisted efforts to simply pass it with minimal deliberation given the substantial presidential value of any extension of the f.b.i. director's terms, we have a duty to ensure that the regular order is followed for the consideration of this bill.
first i believe that the 10-year limit has achieved its intended purpose. until director mueller, no director subject to the limit has served the full 10 years. the limit has been successful in reducing the power of the director and preserving the vital civil liberties of all americans. second, the 10-year limit has provided important political independence for the f.b.i. director. only one director has been fired in this period and this did not occur for political reasons. and third, the prohibition on reappointment has also served the director's independence by eliminating any potential that the director will attempt to curry favor with a president to be reappointed. we should proceed cautiously in setting a precedent that a 10-year term can be extended if we are going to extend director mueller's term, we should establish a precedent that doing so will be difficult and that unique circumstances
necessitating it exists as those are circumstances at this particular time. we didn't just introduce a bill and hold it at the desk. instead we introduced a bill that would amend existing law. we are holding a hearing as in 1974 we have called the director of the f.b.i. to testify. we are pointing out the special circumstances behind the bill and recognizing the constitutional issues that may arise at extending the director's term and without actually voting to advise and consent to his serving an additional term, we have called experts to address constitutionality. we will hold a committee markup and if successful will seek floor time to pass the bill. that is how we should proceed. changing the 10-year term limit is a one-time situation that will not be routinely repeated. acting responsibly requires no less. for all these reasons, mr.
chairman, i especially thank you for holding this hearing. i thank director mueller for testifying and all the other witnesses that have come. thank you. >> thank you very much, senator grassley. director mueller, the floor is yours again. >> thank you, chairman leahy and ranking member grassley and the other members of the committee who are here today. i thank you for your introductions and for the opportunity to appear before the committee today. as you pointed out, my term as f.b.i. director is due to expire later this summer. however in early may the president asked if i would be willing to serve an additional two years. upon some reflection, discussion with my family, i told him that i would be willing to do so. now the president has asked that congress pass the legislation necessary to extend that term and if this committee and congress see fit to pass the required legislation, i look
forward to continuing to work with the men and women of the f.b.i. as the committee is well aware, the f.b.i. faces a complex threat environment. and with the past year we have seen an array of national security and criminal threats from terrorism, espionage, cyberattacks, and traditional crimes. these threats have range interested attempts by al qaeda and its affiliates to place bombs on airplanes, to lone actors seeking to detonate i.e.d.'s in public squares and on subways. a month ago as chairman pointed out the successful operation in pakistan led to osama bin laden's death and created new urgency concerning this threat picture. while we continue to exploit the materials seized from bin laden's compound, we know that al qaeda remains committed to attacking the united states. we also continue to face the threat from adversaries alaa he in yemen who are engaged in
efforts to persons in united states to commit acts of terrorism. these figures no longer need or speak personally with those to influence. they conduct their media campaigns from remote regions of the world and sent on fostering terrorism by lone actors here in the united states. alongside these ever evolving terrorism plots, the espionage threat persists as well. last summer there were the arrests of 10 russian spies known as illegals, secretly blended into american society in order to clan dess tanly gather information for russia. we continue to make significant arrests for economic espionage as foreign interests seek to control technologies. the cyberintrusions at google last year as well as other recent intrusions highlight the ever-present danger from internet attack. along with countless other cyberincidents, these attacks
set to undermine the integrity of the internet and businesses and people who rely on it. in our criminal investigations the f.b.i. continues to uncover massive corporate and mortgage frauds that weaken the financial system and victimize investors, homeowners, and ultimately taxpayers. we are also rooting out health care fraud based on false billings and fake treatments that endanger patients and cheat government health care programs. in the extreme violence across our southwest border to the south also remains a threat to the united states as we saw with the murders last year of american consulate workers in juarez, mexico, and the shooting earlier this year of two federal agents in mexico. likewise here in the united states, countless violent gangs continue to take innocent lives and endanger our communities. and throughout public corruption undermines the public trust. in this threat environment, the f.b.i.'s mission to protect the
american people has never been broader and the demands on the f.b.i. have never been greater. to carry out this mission the f.b.i. has taken significant steps since september 11 to transform itself into a threat-based spence-led agency. this new approach has driven changes in the bureau's structure and management. our recruitment, hiring, and training and information technology systems. these changes have transformed the bureau into a national security organization that fuses the traditional law enforcement and intelligence missions. as this transformation continues, the f.b.i. remains committed to upholding the constitution, the rule of law, and protecting civil liberties. of course the f.b.i.'s transformation is not complete as we must continually evolve to meet the ever changing threats of today and tomorrow. and as i discussed the transformation of the bureau, i must say i am uncomfortable about much of the intention that has been placed on me or put on
me, my reason of this being the end of my term. the credit for these changes goes to the men and women of the f.b.i. who have responded remarkably to the challenges i have laid out both in the past and present. let me conclude by thanking the committee on behalf of all f.b.i. employees for your continued support of the f.b.i. and its mission. the committee has been an essential part of our transformation and this legislation has contributed greatly to our ability to meet today's various threats. thank you. i look forward to answering any questions. >> thank you. your statement will be placed in the record. my questions will be brief. you and i talk often as you do with other members. and have always been available. i remember when you testified at an oversight hearing on march 30 this year you talked about the terrorism threats facing our
nation. your remarks both spoken and prepared, you expanded those today. tell us about the unique role the f.b.i. plays in preventing and prosecuting terrorist activities as compared to our other intelligence and law enforcement agencies all of whom have a role. what is unique about the f.b.i.? >> uniquely the f.b.i. has domestic responsibility, acting under the constitution, the applicable statutes, and the attorney general guidelines to first of all identify those individuals who might be undertaking terrorist threats within the united states along with our state and local law enforcement. the other federal agencies. we also have the responsibility for working with the intelligence agencies to identify threats from overseas that may impact the domestic united states.
and to assure that we gather and analyze and disseminate that intelligence and efforts to thwart those attacks. if indeed an attack takes place, quite obviously our responsibility then is to identify those persons responsible for the attack. gather the evidence against them, and pursue the case through indictment, conviction, and incarceration. uniquely we have the responsibility -- broad responsibility domestically fo -- for undertaking this particular aspect of response against international terrorism as well as against domestic terrorism which often may well be overlooked. >> one of the things, talked with the president and others about the desire to have continuity, national security, there are a lot of changes going on, leon panetta is leaving. the c.i.a. director is becoming the secretary of defense. general petraeus is coming in to
the c.i.a. the head of the joint chiefs term runs out next couple months . we have nominations pending for deputy attorney general. and also nomination pending for the assistant attorney general in charge of the national security division. in that team i assume the f.b.i. director or your designee is a major part of the team, is that correct? >> i believe that to be the case, yes. also particularly the head of our national security branch is -- as well as myself are both part of the team. >> this is not a 9 to 5 thing i assume. i expect you probably get a few calls in the middle of the
night. >> we do. it's somewhat continuous but that's part of the job. >> you served for nearly 10 years. we talked about a number of things that you tried to reform in the department and other things you want to upgrade. i know in just a few weeks ago you were contemplating leaving as f.b.i. director. since then assuming this legislation passes, which i assume it will, what would you want to build on? what would you -- give two more years, what would be a top goal in your mind? >> the areas of concentration, let me put it that way, for the next two years should continue to be terrorism. particularly the -- in the wake of the death of bin laden, the impact that will have on his followers.
guy obviously what is happening in pakistan, what is happening in yemen, what is happening in somalia bears on the threats to the united states, along with domestic terrorism. that will continue to be a focus. i will tell you that we will increasingly put emphasis on addressing cyberthreats in all of the variations. part of that is making certain that the personnel in the bureau have the equipment, capability, skill, experience to address those threats and not just the cadre of individuals that we have to date who can address any of those threats not just the united states but around the world. but all those in the bureau have sufficient understanding of the cyberbackground to be able to work in a variety of programs and understand how those programs fit into the cyberarena. we have done, i believe, a very good job in terms of advancing our information technology. we have to finish off the sentinal project that has been
ongoing for a number of years and has been the subject of discussion with this committee and i anticipate that will be coming to a conclusion on that project in the fall. in the meantime, we have kept up-to-date in terms of giving our agents, analysts, and professional staff the information technology tools they need to do the job, but we have to continue to be on the forefront, cutting edge of that technology. in terms of legislation, one area which we have raised with this committee and that is what we call going dark. where we have a court order, whether from a national security court, the fisa court, or a district court, based on protocols believe that somebody is using a communications device to further their illegal goals, often now given the new technology, the persons, recipients, carriers of those communications do not have the solution, capability to be responsive to those court orders. we have to address that
increasing gap given the new technologies through legislation so i will anticipate. that would be an issue we want to address in the next couple years. >> thank you. i'm going to put in the record letters of support from a number of people at the national fraternal order of police, national association of police organizations, so forth. one i'm very pleased to put in is one from john ellith, who is sitting behind you a couple rows back. former detailee to my staff. the reason i especially wanted that, he testified at the 1974 hearing on the bill that created the 10-year term for director. i wasn't a senator. i was a prosecutor at the time. but he then helped me a great
deal once he came here and put institutional memory that is extraordinary. i know that the deputy, majority leader, has to leave. you want to make just one remark. i thank senator grassley for that. >> thank you very much. i just wanted to -- it's been my honor to work with director mueller for the last 10 years. you are an honest, honorable man and you have dramatically transformed our nation's premiere law enforcement agency. i'm glad that the president recognizes that talent and america's fortunate you are willing to continue to serve. i fully support this extension. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator grassley. >> the president has stated that he believes that continuity and
civility at the f.b.i. is critical at this time. he emphasized at this time. as i said i'm not in support of extending your term just because the president has many leadership transitions occurring at the same time. there are things the president can control like when to change leadership at d.o.d. and c.i.a. and things the president cannot control like the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 or the recent death of bin laden and the revolutions in the middle east. so my first question, director mueller, would you agree that threat environment alone is sufficient reason to extend your term for two years? >> i leave that determination to others. as you point out, no one is indispensable. i do agree that during a transition there's time spent on
that transition process. we certainly have been spending time on it. but to the extent that either i or somebody else should be part of that team, i leave that up to someone else. the president asked that i stay and as i said based on -- after reflections, talking to my family, decided to do that. i will tell you that as i said nobody is indispensable. some of the cal includes was -- calculus was should i really stay? and off the person who is in that position is the worst person to make that decision. i did go out and try to talk to other persons both in the bureau and outside the bureau to get more objective view as to whether or not it would be the best thing for the agency for me to stay tonight even though the president asked that that be done.
>> the legislation on your position is meant to -- for the last 30 or 40 years to give level of independence to the director. but at the same time recognize the president could fire a director for any reason. i'm not sure that that's fully understood so i ask these questions of you. as director of the f.b.i. with a fixed term, under what circumstances can the president remove you? >> i think i serve at the pleasure of the president. >> ok. would you support changing the law so that the f.b.i. director could be removed only for cause so you would have greater independence? >> i believe and support the law, including the 10-year term limit. >> would you support legislation requiring the president to provide notice to congress 30 days prior to removal of f.b.i. director similar to the way law requires removal of an inspector
general? >> i really have not thought about that, senator. >> ok. the f.b.i.'s intelligence analyst association supports the president's request to extend your term. the f.b.i. agents association appears to me to be a little less enthusiastic. if you are extended, how would you intend to bridge a gap if you might not agree there is a gap, but i guess that's the basis of my question, how would you intend to bridge the gap and manage the agents who believe you are creating a double standard by extending your tenure while you limit theirs to your up and out policy? >> i do believe that there's -- i understand the concern on certain agents' part. i do think it's a different issue. the issue of having a maximum time for service as a supervisor in the bureau was a part of a
plan to develop leadership. after looking at how you develop leaders in the military, how you develop leaders in corporate america, and how you given incentives and push persons. the best leaders in the organization to the top. we had had problems with that in the past and after much discussion, the decision was made to enact this. it was one of the hardest decisions i probably had to make as a director of -- during this period of time. but it has in my mind had the beneficial effect, although we do lose some very, very good supervisors who decide either to step down or retire. i have over the years explained the thinking behind the decision . over the years sought out opportunities to discuss the import and impact of that decision. i will continue to do so. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. senator franken. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director mueller, i want to
start off today by associating myself with senator durbin's remarks and commending you for your tremendous service to this nation. it is in large part because of your tenacity and leadership that we haven't seen another major terrorist attack on our soil since 9/11. that is no small achievement and i want you to know that i am grateful for all you have done to reshape the f.b.i.'s counterterrorism strategy. i don't think it should come as a surprise your department has been heavily criticized over the last 10 years for significant misuse of the department's surveillance powers and other major civil liberties violations. i think you have done extraordinary job, but i also believe that term limits exist for a good reason. term limits are like sunshine laws, they force us to bring in new leaders who take a fresh look at things, and that is
almost always a good thing. i'd like you if you could to take a minute to talk about some of the most controversial aspects of your tenure or of the f.b.i. during your tenure. how do you think you have addressed the problems that arose with the f.b.i.'s misuse of the surveillance authorities granted under the patriot act and the foreign intelligence surveillance act, specifically i would like you to address the concerns raised by the inspector general about the department's abuse of national security letters? >> let me separate national security letters out from the general discussion of surveillance. i do not believe that we have abused our powers in any way, with maybe one or two isolated examples, and the additional authorities that have been given us under the patriot act over the years, and i don't believe the i.g. has found such
substantial misuse. with regard to national security letters, we did not do what was necessary to assure that we were in compliance with the applicable statutes. it was brought to our attention by the inspector general. as i know you are aware, national security letters enable us to get not content but information relating to the existence of a communication. and there was a statutory framework for that and we should have set up a much more thorough compliance program to assure that we were dotting i's and crossing t's and we did not. as soon as we learned of the i.g.'s scrutiny on this and the problems that were pointed out, we moved to fix them. the first thing we did is make certain we had a new software capability and data base capability that assured that all of our agents in seeking
national security letters will have -- given all the information that is required under the statute. we put out comprehensive guidance to the field and additional training. we assured the national security letters are signed off on by the chief lawyer in each of our divisions. but perhaps as important if not more important is we set up a compliance program to address not just security letters but other areas such as national security letters where we could fall into the same pattern or habits. and so the national security letters i believe we addressed appropriately at the time. and it was used as a catalyst to set up a compliance program that addresses the concern in other areas comparable to what we had found with national security letters. >> in addition to concerns about -- those concerns, a number of
civil liberties groups have raised questions about the f.b.i.'s misuse of the material witness statute. mishandling of the terrorist watch list and infiltration of mosques and surveillance of peaceful groups that have no connection to criminal activity. if your term were extended do you believe that you would be in a position to give these concerns a fresh airing without being mired in -- >> i certainly -- i'm not certain it needs a fresh look because i am very concerned whenever those allegations arise. i will tell you that i believe in terms of surveillance of religious institutions we have done it appropriately and with appropriate pred case under the guidelines of the applicable statutes. even though there are allegations out there to the contrary. i also believe that we have -- when we have undertaken investigations, individuals expressing their first amendment rights, we have done so
according to our internal guidelines and applicable statutes. and so whenever these allegations come forward, i take them exceptionally seriously. i make certain inspection division or others look into it to determine whether or not we need to change anything. and i will tell you that addressing terrorism and the responsibility to protect against attacks brings us to the point where we are balancing day in and day out civil liberties and the necessaryity for -- necessity for disrupting a plot that will kill americans. it's something we keep in mind day in and day out. the last thing i would say as agents go through our training classes, the importance of adhering to the constitution, civil liberties, is drilled into them day in and day out. every agent, this was established by my predecessor, goes to the holocaust museum, before they become a new agent,
to understand what can happen to a police power that becomes un reined and too powerful. we take those allegations very seriously. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my time is up. i'd just like to say that there are exceptions of approved rules, these are, i think, unique set of circumstances that the new c.i.a. director and new secretary admiral mulen retiring and i -- mulin retiring, and i should note president obama could nominate a new director that would be there for 10 years, and by extending you for two years, he is -- in two years he may not be the president. i think that bears just mention. thank you. >> thank you very much.
dr. coburn. >> first of all let me thank you for your service. >> is your microphone on? >> yes, it is. i think it is. light's on. we'll try that. we are going to hear testimony in the next panel about some questionable constitutionality of what we are trying to do and meeting the president's request. and i have some concerns about that because if in fact there can be a legal challenge to what we are doing, based on previous statutes, and let me give you an example, with the 2005 extension to the patriot act, we added additional requirement on 215 orders for certain sensitive business records such as book sales, firearm sales, and tax return records that are relevant to terrorism investigations. they can only be obtained by the approval of you, your deputy
director, or the executive assistant director for national security. could you envision a constitutional challenge to the section 215 order that was approved by yourself during your two-year extension? and could that be related to the possible unconstitutionality of this extension legislation? >> let me say at the outset that i'm not a constitutional scholar. >> nor am i. >> and i have heard nothing in my discussions with the department or otherwise of a constitutional issue that would make that a problem down the road. if that were a substantial problem, quite obviously then i would be concerned, but i have not heard that to be the case. >> well, my hope would be that you would, after your testimony, you would have somebody here to listen to the second panel. >> i do. absolutely. >> because i have some concerns. i have no objection to you continuing in this position at
all, but i do have concerns that we could get mired in court battles over a questionable constitutional challenge on this that could actually make you ineffective in carrying out your job. with that, mr. chairman, i have no other questions. >> thank you very much. senator klobuchar. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. director, welcome. it's good to see you. thank you for all your good work. my question is i remember when we met earlier at the f.b.i. about some of the challenges you face, particularly, i'm very focused on some of the white collar crime investigations as you know, the resources necessary for those, and how that plays in with necessary steps you had to take after 9/11 to shift resources over to the investigating terrorism. with that in mind what do you see as the biggest challenges facing the f.b.i. over the next two years? >> quite obviously a
continuation of the -- addressing the threat from terrorism both international terrorism and domestic terrorism and increasingly in that area is the radicalization of individuals over the internet where the radicalizers can be offshore and the individuals can be in the bedrooms here in the united states. they need not meet or have any other personal contact but persons can be radicalized through the internet. i mentioned before cyber the increase of cyber as a mechanism for conducting the internet, for conducting all sorts of crimes, but also it being a highway to extracting our most sensitive secrets or extracting intellectual property from our commerce. we as an organization need to continue to grow the capability of addressing that arena in the future.
from a criminal perspective, making certain that we minimize whatever crime can come from south of the border in the southwest border area, and of course as you point out, we have still a backlog of mortgage fraud cases and substantial white collar criminal cases that we are working through. >> so you're concerned about budget cuts that could affect local law enforcement that have been taking up some of the slack here? >> i do. if you talk to state and local law enforcement, you understand their concerns in terms of budget cuts all the way down the line. i think we are all in agreement that we are much more effective working together. and consequently for all of us the increase in task forces where we combine our areas ever expertise and knowledge is going to have to be at least a partial answer to the budget cuts that we see coming down the road. always my encouragement to the
appropriators is that i am giving moneys, i give moneys in such a way that's an incentive for us to work together in task forces as opposed to a disincentive for persons to go and start their own look at a particular area. >> as you and i have discussed we have had tremendous success in minnesota with some of these combined efforts. i brought up the cybercrime issue, i think it's very important that we start getting something done in this area and start to be sophisticated in our laws as those that are breaking them. i have heard that because of new technologies and outdated laws there is a growing gap in the f.b.i.'s ability to get court ordered information from communications and internet service providers. in prior statements you have referred to this as going dark. could you talk more about this problem and you see -- and how you see we could fix it? >> i did refer to it briefly before. where we have the authority to go to a court and get a court
order directing that a communications carrier of some ilk provide ongoing communications to the bureau in a terrorism case, white collar criminal case, child pornography case, what we increasingly find given the advent of these two technologies is that the carrier of that communication no longer or does not have the solution in order to be responsive to that court order. so my expectation is that legislation will be discussed and perhaps introduced that would close that gap for us. we cannot afford to go dark in the sense that we have a legitimate authorized order from a court directing a communications carrier to provide us with certain conversations related to criminal activity and not be able to get those conversations because a communications carrier has not put in place a solution to be responsive to that court order. >> that makes a lot of sense.
two things i just wanted to mention at the end. first i want to thank the bureau for the help with the synthetic drug issue. senator grassley, senator schumer and i have been working on this and senator grassley has a bill to include some of these new synthetic drugs. we had a kid die in minnesota. a number of people get sick. i don't think people realize the power of these drugs and i.n.s. crease we are seeing in the use of those -- increase we are seeing in the use of those drugs. secondly i want to thank you for having kevin perkins at a hearing we had earlier to find missing children. this is the issue of trying to be as narrow as we can to get exception to the tax laws. you don't have local law enforcement trying to find a kid when it is in fact a family abduction. then you have one arm of the government, the i.r.s. that knows exactly where that kid is, where that family is, and trying to put an exception in place that doesn't hurt privacy interests but like many of the extemmingses -- exception that is are already in that law so law enforcement can access it.
>> thank you very much. senator, i understand questions have been asked. other than director mueller, we'll excuse you with our thanks for your service. you should also thank ann mueller. she doesn't get thanked enough for the support she gives you as do your daughters in this. and i appreciate that very much. i appreciate she suggests it. >> a preeshates that acknowledgement and much deserved. >> she's a remarkable woman as you know. i appreciate that. i will take a three or four minute break while we set up for the next panel. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
witness here. this is jim comey, who served as the deputy attorney general of the united states from 2003 through 2005. prior to becoming deputy attorney general, mr. comey was the united states attorney for the southern district of new york. he is a graduate of the university of chicago law school and now a member of the management committee at bridgewater associates. i should tell everyone assembled here that mr. comey and i were in the same law school class. we graduated together. we have known each other for a long time. i think maybe our classmates would have not expected that we would have been sitting in these roles back when we graduated in 1985, but it is certainly great to have him here today. mr. comey. >> thank you, senator klobuchar. senator grassley and distinguished members of this
committee, thank you for inviting me to testify here today. it is great to be back in this room before this distinguished committee and especially to offer my voice in support of an extension of director bob mueller's term for two years. i know bob mueller very well and believe he is one of the finest public servants this nation has ever seen. in his decade as director i think he has made huge strides in transforming the f.b.i. and contributed enormously to the safety of the american people. when i was deputy attorney general during those two years, i spoke to bob mueller nearly every day and i watched as his remarkable combination of intellect and tenacity drove the f.b.i.'s counterterrorism efforts. because the director's standards were so high, everybody's work had to be better. his relentless probing, which was rooted in an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the enemy and our capabilities to respond to the enemy, rippled through the f.b.i. and the rest
of the national security community. everyone around bob mueller knew their work had to be good because he would test it, he would compare it to other work he had seen, and he would press very, very hard. and the president, now two presidents, could count on bob to offer sound advice and to prudently do what was best to protect the country. i don't think there's ever a great time to change f.b.i. directors because something is always lost in a transition. as the new director climbs the learning curve and learns about the threat and capabilities to respond to the threat, but i think there are bad and even potentially dangerous times to change an f.b.i. director, and i think that this is one of them. i no longer have access to threat intelligence, but common sense and the publicly available information tells me that the combination of the successful rate on bin laden's compound and the approaching 10th anniversary of 9/11 make this a usual and unique threat environment, and in the middle of that as
senators have mentioned the leadership is changing at two of the pillars of our national security community, at c.i.a. and defense. and i think at this moment it makes good sense to ask bob mueller to continue his leadership of the organization which is primarily responsible for protecting our homeland from terrorist attack. to the extent of the seen criticism of this idea it has been focused not on the man but the purpose of the 10-year term which i support very much. to reduce the risk of abuse by a long serving and too powerful f.b.i. director. but i think in this circumstance the man is the answer to that criticism. there is no one that i have ever met who is better suited to the responsible use of power than bob mueller. i know firsthand his commitment to the rule of law and frankly i believe he is what we wish all public servants could be. i think there are no politics in this decision, just as there are no politics in bob mueller. this is as he is, only about
doing what's in the best interest of our country. and i join my fellow americans in being both grateful and awestruck at his willingness to continue to serve and sacrifice for our country. thank you again for the opportunity to discuss this important issue and i look forward to answering any questions you might have. thank you. >> thank you very much. now i'd like to introduce professor van all stein -- alstyne, who was appointed lead professor of law at the college of william and mary in 2004. he previously served in the civil rights division of the department of justice and appeared before this committee several times. professor. >> thank you. i have submitted a statement and i'll just summarize parts of it. first i would like to say hello to senator grassley particularly since it's been some time since i was before this distinguished
committee, but remember his own participation well from prior hearings. and i look forward also to saying hello to senator leahy and senator hatch, but i understand they are just not with us today. i have submitted my statement. i want briefly to simply summarize it and offer what may seem to be a bolder view than is even reflected in my remarks with respect to which i have no doubt of the constitutional propriety of the proposed extension. it is odd but as i thought about this more i tentatively concluded the reasonable doubt is whether or not to have the authority in congress to put an outside limit on the service of a purely executive officer. they may abolish the office by legislation, don't misunderstand me, but i am now in doubt whether they can actually limit the term of service because if it is exclusively an executive
office, as i regard this office to be, for reasons i put in paper and will shortly summarize, then in my own view he necessarily or she serves at the pleasure of the president. and so long as that service is deemed acceptable to the president in the delegation of that modicum of executive power, which the president lodges as permitted by an act of congress, in the subordinate executive official, i have come to doubt seriously the authority of congress to put a limit on the service of that person so long as they continue to enjoy the confident confidence of the president. so my position is not merely that the extension will clearly be constitutional, and well advised given the president's expressed confidence in the office -- officer who now holds it, but has come to the conclusion it's not even stated in a memorandum. i'm not at all confident that congress has the authority to restrict the term in which one
who has been approved by the senate, once nominated by the president, and who holds a purely executive position under the direction of the president, has the authority to limit the number of years which they may hold that office, as long as the president is pleased to retain that person. i will summit this -- i will summarize this never position of mine. when incoming administrations come in and they represent a different political party, it is customary for the president to request the resignation of many executive officials. he may sometimes except some of those letters of recommendation and that terminates -- it opens the office for fresh nominations to be submitted for those respective posts, to come before the senate for confirmation or rejection. i understand that and i approve
that. president often declines to accept the letter of recommendation that he himself has requested. being satisfied with the continuing performance of the an icer who is serving in th executive capacity and the resignation is politely refused, and so the individual states on. the individual may resigned the post. if the resignation is not -- if one believes the purses acting crop, that is for the impeachment committee of the house to decide whether the president has acted with some corrupt motives worthy of being deemed an impeachable offense under that clause. it is rather that i have no doubt of the constitutionality
of the proposed modest extension of the current director's executive service. it is rather frankly that i come to doubt the authority of congress to restrict the president so long as he has confidence in those who are serving in a subordinate executive capacity. a move to the mainstream of my remarks. it is different with regard to the delegation of legislative authority. to the extent the congress wants to have a certain law -- then to the extent that they make law on a new scale -- on a mini-scale. the regulations are paul was and they become the operative logs -- the regulations are published and they become the
operative law. so they are acting in a cause i guess legislative capacity in that regard -- they are acting in a quasi-legislative capacity . as long as congress identifies those -- in a legislative capacity to say whether they have acted within those boundaries in the federal court. the legislative authority is within the prerogative of congress. other agencies are also -- making bodies --law-making bodies. the constitution assigns to the president the power that he shall take care fatally to
execute the laws of the united states. congress has provided him with certain services, certain helps. one is the office of the attorney general. another is the federal bureau of investigation, the fbi. its director serves as the director of the investigations conducted under the authority granted by congress to the department established a long time ago. it is an executive function. it is impossible for the president of the nine states to acquit himself -- of the united states unaided. so congress has provided him the means. they do so -- the ultimate
causlause, sometimes called the elastic clause. their own legislative authority and all powers vested in the united states or any office or department there oof. that is the office of the presidency. to carry out his obligations. the earliest or those that is doubtless the office of secretary of state and defense. they are executive officials and they are today, the secretary of state represents the united states in foreign relations. that person is the deputy of the persons in the power to make treaties. the tree does not become effective until consented to by
the senate's -- the treaty does not become effective until consented to by the senate. they do not require the consent of the senate. the duties and authority to make the treaty on matters of trade and defense and things of that kind, that is the executive power and is established in article two. this covers has seen fit to aim the president in the discharge of the power by providing a department of stayte. it establishes the secretary of state. it approves or does not and that is that. that is the end of the story in my respectful constitutional view. >> thank you.
>> i do not believe congress can set a limit to a service of any individual as long as the person occupying the position having been approved by the senate of the united states retains the confidence of the president. then this should be able to retain the confidence. for those reasons, i have no doubt about the constitutionality of continuing the civilian service and i come to what becomes the novel and more radical view that i even doubt whether or not it would itself -- within the authority of congress itself to stipulate and in force. i thank you for your time. >> would now turn to professor harrison -- we now turn to professor harrison. he is currently james madison --
think you for being here. you may want to turn on a microphone. >> the red light? director bob mueller is a distinguished public servant. this to be an attempt by congress -- the appointments clause provides officers of the united states including the director of the fbi is appointed but thepresident, president alone or by a cord of law -- by a court of law. congress cannot appoint officers.
it cannot do through -- a particular individual 3 legal act of congress to hold that office, to be the incumbent of that office. that is an appointment and that is something that congress cannot do. it just begun to the appointments clause by the president with the advice and consent of the congress. a statute like this would be inconsistent with the appointments clause. something like this is inconsistent with the principles underlying that clause. power and responsibility, which always go together. the president's responsibility for all appointments is absolute. only the present economic, only the president can appoint.
he alone must do either one of those. he has an absolute veto. he has absolute responsibility. it is not true with respect to legislation. he does not have absolute responsibility for a report of a bill that the signs because he decide it is a compromise and es to accept party does not like in order to departs he does not like. that is how legislation works. the appointments clause is focus to focus responsibility strictly on the presidential. it is also true that a congressional exercise of the power to appoint is an intrusion into the power of the president. if the congress is a point, the president is not appointing --
if the congress is appointing, the president is not appointing. there is a constitutional remedy for the intrusion into the present's appointment power. it is the equivalent of the power to decide not to reappoint that officer. as a political matter, that is not true. is not true with respect to the united states attorneys. firing in nine states attorneys is a politically much more controversial act and a much more costly pact for the president's the not to reappoint a united states attorney. their reasoning that as long as the president -- that is unpersuasive.
congressional appointments is not consistent with the constitution. there is a constitutional way to accomplish this, which is three combination of legislation provided for a new two-year term and the new appointment of a director mueller pursuant to the appointments clause. as senator coburn's question indicated, this can be highly disruptive and has been highly disrupted from time to time. congress created a new system of bankruptcy courts. the supreme court decided they were inconsistent with article 3. they tried to keep the bankruptcy adjudication system operating. the disruption by single court
opinion with respect to the savings and loan to the office of thrift supervision. congress has had to restructure the pan and trademark office because it was discovered their motive appointment was inconsistent with the appointments clause. there is a constitutional way to avoid the dangers. thank you. >> thank you to all the members of the panel. you discussed the case in your written testimony and you distinguish it based on the idea that the tax applied to the entire system, all banks as opposed to a single individual. aren't the principle still applicable? >> benny is a ninth circuit
decision. as to the difference between a large reappointment and the report of a single individual, the supreme court itself in another case indicated that at least for some of the justices, there's a difference between legislation that the bankruptcy legislation to fix the problem, the legislation that operates across a wide range of officers might not be an appointment. one that operates as to a single individual might be. the numbers involved might be different. i can understand that. a larger class is more like legislation.
here we're dealing with a single individual. insofar as that is one of the indications in what constitutes an appointment, i think the fact that just one person makes it more problematic. as to shoemaker, this is a case that creates a problem for this motor proceeding. shoemaker is a case from the late 19th century, one of the cases that is regarded as standing for the proposition that statutory changes in the duties of an officer, if they go so far to create a new office, can require a new appointment. shoemaker creates some room for congress to operate when it changes the duties of an officer. no need to get into that. congress has some leeway. there is a point beyond which congress cannot tell and this is
a simple extension of the term. the court indicated it is possible to go to the point where the office is to change that the new appointment will be required. >> in shoemaker, the nature of the change is very different from what we have here. >> in shoemaker, it was a small addition to the duties of the offices that were in vaulter its vault create rock creek park. it was small and germane to the office that already existed. what we're talking about here is a change it in a fundamental feature of the office, which is its term and is more like an appointment and the change to was involved in shoemaker because because as someone who otherwise would not be in the office at all to continue to be in the office. this is very different from what
the supreme court said was all right in shoemaker. >> is it fair to say we have note fear guidance from the supreme court on the issues at stake here? >> not clearly here. legislation that is not -- that is not in form and employment can run afoul. what kind of legislation does that, we do not know as well. that is correct. >> thank you. i will turn to senator grassley. >> thank you all for your testimony. i have a paper that i would like to put into record and also three opinions on the copy issued by the legal office the likes of put in record. >> without objection.
>> i will start with -- professor van alstyne, your testimony states -- a city appointee is clearly constitutional. prof. harrison says such legislation should pass absent a new confirmation hearing from the appointee. a court could find invalid any reported exercise of government power by the director of the fbi serving pursuant to the statue like 1103. do you agree with professor harrison's statement? >> let me say this. even if i agree with professor
harrison, as i do not at all, it seems to me that insofar as the proposal has come here and it carries an expression by the president of its continuing confidence in the director who is now incumbent in asking for the extended term, to the extent that the president has already expressed his confidence, a compatible view of this would be that if this bill is reported favorably, then it carries along the president's approval of continuing him in his office. he then becomes a nomination in his own right and consistent with the approval of the congress of this particular bill. so that any residual doubt, which i did not entertain, would be eliminated. that would be if i agree with professor harrison. i still think it would be quite barbel that given the message from the president that wants mr. mueller to occupy this office, then by approving the
bill, the president expressed his confidence in this person. that is effectively a nomination and would become effective with this bill for the new term. i now seriously entertain doubt. i understand the background of the term limit. he continued in administration after administration. i do remember a little bit. perhaps senator grassley center hatch -- senator hatch -- mr. hoover exited unusual power and became almost an extortionist power at some point. he would sometimes communicate to the president of the united states and some senators of the senate' probably that he had soe
information about certain misconduct on his part but they could trust to his discretion that it would never get out. the director also had these peculiar habits. he was a cross dresser. he dressed up in women's underwear. it was a terrible scandal. he continued administration after administration, partly because if you look in the history of this affair, the original first director, he became very powerful and was a threat to the president and to members of this body and was able to avoid the idea that he would simply be asked to resign or fired under the circumstances. that is the trigger for the original bill that set this 10-
year period. i appreciate this very much. mr. hoover in the early years was an admirable person. he became inflated with his own power. he abused his office and had horrendous private life. but he retained his office to the threat power that the wheeled with regard to members of this body, members of the house of presenters and with the president of the united states. they would not dare touch him. he lingered on through administration after and administration. >> my time is up. >> that was the origin of one to put a limit on these things, and i respect that limit. i have my doubts about the limit itself.
>> the time of the senator from iowa has expired. i'll turn to senator leahy. >> i have a question for professor van alstyne. professor harrison has been acknowledged that there is a way to do this while resolving any constitutional questions. if we can invoke the doctrine of constitutional doubt for purposes of this committee, we might do so and resolve any such doubt simply by taking a two-step process rather than the 1 step process. we would amend the existing legislation, making clear that this direct it could serve an additional six years and having the president re-nominee director mueller to an
additional six-year term -- two- year term. given the questions that have raised, what should we do that? >> you may if you want. the president has expressed his desire to have missed mueller continue -- to have mr. mueller continue in the office. i want to suggest the alternative that i've suggested to you. president'sg on the recommendation that he wants this man to continue in office for the additional two-year period. that seems to satisfy the nomination requirement. the president wishes mr. mueller to occupy that term,
then you do it in a single step. of don't go to the ordeal to hearings again with mr. mueller. i have heard no reproached to his fitness to serve in this role. so i'm not hostile to this suggestion. i think it is gratuitous. it rests on a constitutional point of view i do not share and that has come to your attention. i think what has been proposed is sound and meets the president's need and the countries need. it is constitutional. i did suggest to you -- if you
thought that necessary, as i do not. >> thank you. mr. harrison, what constitutes an appointment? do you have for instance -- would you read and attorney general who had been confirmed by the senate and that attorney general was asked at the end of one administration to remain on it and not to resign. would that person remain not with the previous confirmation during the previous presidents administration, or that be an appointment? >> that would not be a new appointment. the attorney general serves at the pleasure of the president. in the early 19th century, one serve forgeralneral
something like 12 years. we think as cabinet offices as turning over at the end of presidential terms. there is no need to have a new appointment because of the terms of the initial appointment. >> so the president's authority to move -- to remove that person would be sufficient. >> the president's authority to remove the attorney journal is sufficient to provide the president with control over the attorney-general. if you think the constitution requires the present have that control " the removal power is adequate and many people think the removal power is constitutionally required to give presidential control. the appointments clause and it
is not identical and it is constitutionally permissible. does not problematic -- that is not problematic -- >> so the president removal power has a different effect. >> congress has set a specific term, the director serves for 10 years. there'll be a vacancy. i am not sure this is a definition. where there otherwise would be a vacancy in an office -- normally the president does that. >> thank you. senator coburn.
>> mr. comey, we have heard testimony as to the constitutionality of this. would you see any problem with us doing this in different ways that we do not allow the potential risks from the duties of the fbi director? if there was not a constitutional challenge? >> i am no constitutional scholar. i am not in a position to argue the merits of the disagreement. >> there are some pretty savvy out there that were used any angle they can to challenge the proper duties of the director of the fbi. we do not agree with should do this in a way to minimize that? >> we should do this in a way to make a bulletproof.
>> professor van alstyne, he said the tenure term is unconstitutional. >> i have come to doubt it. i was only concerned with the question -- >> you said you did not think it was constitutional. that is what you just said. >> i think tourism more severe doubt about the constitutionality of congress presuming to limit the term of service of a subordinate executive officer then there is reason to doubt the capacity to extend the term -- >> if that is the case, why would a two-year term be any less valuable to your doubts? >> it is far more seriously chargeable that you make -- is
more serious that article that you may not restrict the dollars of a purely supported executive officer as humid with regard to one who is serving in a quasi- legislative capacity. that is to make an open question -- that is to meet an open question. >> the term has not been challenged. >> i appreciate that. >> would you repeat how we do this so we don't end up with a constitutional challenge? >> a way to accomplish this goal will be for congress to amend the 1968 statute decorate the current structure for the director, saying that in some short time could go to begin sometime soon, the president may nominate someone to a two-year
term and say such a person would not be subject to any restriction to the tenure restriction greeted by the earlier statute for the president, to let expire a suit could all be done during a narrow window. the president appoint director mueller to the new term and that would be clearly constitutional. that would be bulletproof and that would not make it possible for any person who is a subject of the authority of the director of the fbi to raise in court any objection to the director's capacity to execute the laws. >> senator sessions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think all of you -- i t hanthk
all of you. you went out and spoke to the 11th circuit's court of appeals -- >> yes, i did. >> i was a u.s. attorney in the crowd. as i remember, what you said, he said if he truly respect the constitution, you will force it as written, the good and bad parts. is that somewhat similar to what you said? >> i'm so flattered you remember that. the most recent article i have written a will be published this fall is called "conflicting visions of a living constitution." i take the view that was best
espoused in those remarks and also on the court by justice hugo black, his name should be so familiar to you, senator, and help to everyone in this room -- and i hope to everyone in this room. you don't read into it phantom clauses even though you wish they would be there. you apply the clauses according to the best understanding the text suggest as it may then be eliminated by the discussions of the draft in its original enact ment. in the simplest terms, it means you take a document as it is seriously. it may have defects for a variety of points of view. these cannot all the clauses we would like to say.
the equal rights amendment narrowly did not pass. it was extended to 10 years. it cannot muster the 38 state ratifications. i don't think the court should read into other clauses the substance of that amendment. we now have a different 27th amendment. it is rather trivial, in my opinion, but it should be expected. i am with hugo black on these matters. we take the constitution as it is. we have a sense of documentary integrity about it. i have tried to base my own teachings and writings very much on that thesis. i have respect for the
constitution and for professor harrison. i just disagree with him on this matter. if i were to can see to his views, it seems to me that his views are all compressed in the proposal. what you have is a proposal signifying the president's desire to have mr. mueller continue for the two-year period. i do not think it takes a series of interviews to do it. you'll then be approving this -- mr. mueller. i don't think you should view the matter that way. i have no doubt that whichever way you do, this one step -- it
is pervert the possible. it will withstand any kind of challenge. if it turns out i'm a better profit, i will probably resign my tenured chair post and apologize to mr. harrison. >> your remarks about the equal rights amendment were remembered for may from 16, 18 years ago. a very thoughtful approach you gave. check the congressional record. your name has been mentioned with this quotation probably 10 times since i have been in the senate. when we wrestle with these issues, we do understand that even a good government crowd is
going to make america better. somehow they thought it to be limited. despite some of the campaign finance, the greatest intent of the world to make america better, but in the long run, we're better off following that document. if you don't follow it as written, you weaken it, in my view. as a matter of policy, you are -- your proposal would make it somewhat easier -- it would make it somewhat more difficult, excuse me, and thereby make it -- have require more thought and care from the president's point of view before he would exercise this low plan to extend a term limit.
it would require a little more effort and might be more faithful to the intent of the people who drafted the statute. >> one thing i like to emphasize is the constitution's for malice have to be complied with. a request for legislation by the president is not a nomination. is not what the constitution calls for here even if in some circumstances it is the equivalent of a nomination. they normally get more scrutiny from the president. one thing the case about the legislative veto stands for is the proposition that formalities in the process of legislation or a hearing in nomination or plummet has to be complied with. one question was whether the people process -- whether the tv was a functionalrocess
equivalent. the majority said the formalities are the formalities. is it necessary to use them. one reason to use the two-step process is that the two-step process uses the formalities were as saying this is the same thing as a nomination belies the formally and says, it is pretty much the same. is the functional equivalent. i think that is not correct in principle. i always hesitate really to disagree with professor van alstyne, who is a giant in our field. >> i share your respect for mr. mueller. if you taken a poll of the top 3 or four prosecutors in america,
in terms of professionalism and experience and judgment and proven track record of important matters and then later the supervisor and a leader, bob mueller would have been among the top story he was universally recognized in that way and was appointed by president clinton to the u.s. attorney post in california. >> san francisco. >> and then held high posts in the department of justice. he tried a lot of cases personally. he knows how you have to prepare a case, present a case. he knows integrity is on the line every day as a prosecutor. i have always felt that president obama -- i am pleased that president obama has seen
fit to renominate him and i hope we can do that lawfully in a way that works. i do think there was some reason behind the limit and we ought not to ignore that entirely. so thank you. >> i share your views about director mueller and want to thank the panel for being here today. we'll stand adjourned. the record will stay open for a week. thank you again for your insightful, thoughtful, and valuable comments. >> and thank you for your courtesy. >> we stand adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
>> other senate hearings we're currently includes the hearing on the 200 budget for the irs. propose legislation. the senate is in session today. members considering the commerce department's economic development which provides aid to distressed communities. among the issues, a proposed amendment debit card usage fees one would delay new restrictions on the debit card fees charged to merchants that accept cards. language was included in the 2010 financial regulatory overhaul. a vote at 2:00 p.m. in the senate. you can fall that debate on c-
span2. we spoke this morning about today's vote. morning but the story that is the front page of "roll call." of light which is splitting democrats. steven dennis joins us live on the fun. thank you for being with us. set up the debate that we will hear later today. what are the issues and what is senator durbin specifically proposing? guest: we have a showdown between the banks and retailers. it is over a pot of money, about $1 billion a month up for grabs here. inside the beltway battle that's been raging for months. it hasn't really penetrated to the public, because they are not aware of the fees that are getting paid to the banks every time they use their debit card.
it ends up being about 44 cents every time on average. the debate is whether that 44 cents is going to go down to 12 cents. that's what was voted for last year, but the banks have been on a full-court press to roll that back. it's about the money. and so it's been very intense. and it's been an unusual battle in that it's not really breaking down along party lines as most things here do. you know, senate majority leader harry reid has come out against the banks, but hasn't really been lobbying people as intently as he normally does. and you have a number of democrats backing the banks on this.
including john hester who is up for re-election next year. and his argument is if you take this 44 cents, and you sort of have a regulator setting a lower rate, that could hurt small banks, even though the legislation in the past specifically excludes institutions that have $10 billion or -- or that are worth less than $10 billion. they argue that that is not workable and would ultimately hurt small banks. host: first of all, 60 is the key number the senate needs for passage. this came up before with senator durbin getting 64 votes. and surprising the banking industry, which is leading to today's vote on the senate floor. and there have been a number of ads back and forth on the floor
about this. this from the electronic payments coalition and this associated with the bank association. >> one decision here can set off a chain reaction. that's what happened when washington gave giant retailers a $12 billion payday. consumers may have to pay more for their debit cards. and who is left to pick up the pieces? you and me. read for yourself about how congress can protect consumers and fix a bad debit card rule. host: let's take first the argument from the bankers and credit unions. what are their points? caller: their main point is yes, you'll be taking $1 billion from the banks and credit unions, but you won't necessarily be giving it to consumers. you could be giving it to the
profits of giant retailers like wal-mart. there's no that money is going to go to consumers. some of this money ends up getting rebated to consumers in other ways. some debit cards have reward points on them often in order encourage people to use these debit cards so they can get these fees. you'll have free checking thangesd like that. so if the banks can't get their money this way, they are saying we're going to take the money from our customers one way or another, because we need their revenue. so their fees will go up. host: that was my question whether the retailers could return what could be 30 cents every time debit card is swiped by the consumer. it's the debit card not the credit card and retailers lobbying in a series of ads
they have put together, and here is their argument. >> sorry. i have no cash on me. >> just take it. the bank will make more on it than i will. for years big banks and credit cards have been pushing people to use their cards and not cash but then they charge you and me these loan shark rates to the tune of $48 billion a year. conscience finally did something about it last year when they cleaned up the wall street mess. they asked them to cap fees. they did. 12 cents instead of 44 cents per transaction. now big banks are trying to undo those laws and some in congress are helping them. if that bill gets delayed, it's like another bailout. but this time you and i pay every time we use their debit card to spend their money at the cash register. call congress and they will them to leave swipe fee reform
alone. host: and of course that legislation part of the bill that passed in the last congress. we're talking to steven dennis from roll call. so today you have the durbin proposal and the court proposal. >> senator durbin wants to bring it down to 12 cents. what's the other proposal? >> the corporate tester plan keeps getting revised. the latest revision. initially they wanted to delay the rules a couple of years and water it down significantly. that had a lot of initial opposition seen as a way to kill it altogether. this one they say is more of a compromise even though none of the retailers agree with that. if this one delays any implementation for about a implementation for about a year, and it also gives the banks a lot more flexibility
when they go to the regulators and say, hey, we need to justify a higher charge, you know? something closer to the 44 cents instead of the 12 cents. if the tester amendment passes, they'll be able to include a lot more expenses to justify a higher rate. and all kinds of overhead expenses that they can say, hey, well, we need to leverage this fee in order to pay all this overhead. and durbin -- his argument on that is that they can technically sneak all kinds of things into their justification for a higher rate including bonuses for executives. and so, it's gotten very political. very pretentious. very interesting splits where dick durbin, the number two democrat is calling john tester
an endangered democrat. and campaign ads are being run by retailers in montana to the tune of $1 million. this is becoming potentially the kind of thing that could affect some of these senators' careers. one thing that's interesting is the vote total -- it's not very often that something is coming to the senate floor of this consequence where it's really this uncertain going into the vote how it's going to turn out. i talked to a lot of senators yesterday who were clearly undecided and weren't really all that familiar with the details of the latest offer, but suddenly wanted to be. prepared to support something if there was a real compromise. it's not clear how it's going to turn out. you know, both sides have been
saying it could be very, very close. and i think one of the things that you have to look at is a lot of times senators don't want to change their vote unless they are sure that this is going to pass, if it's going to clear the 60-vote hurdle. in order for this to pass, 16 senators have to change their vote from last year when they voted for durbin. they would have is to suddenly flip and vote for tester. that's a lot of senators who have to flip. some of them have already. senators like hagen or mike crow ho saying it's a good compromise but you have to get a lot of senators to change their vote and go back home and explain that. so you could have a situation where this thing gets 44 votes. because they or 48 or 50, and it falls well short, or it could get something where it picks up momentum and you start
seeing it shoot past 60 pretty easily. so it's really coming down to the wire. and it's sort of -- you know, almost every lobbyist in town, anybody connected to the financial services industry is lobbying this bill. so lots of phone calls tonight, this morning, and a lot of senators are getting, you know, pounded on both sides, and it's going to be very, very close. even if it ends up. you've seen a weird vote where it's -- ho >> debate continues on those debit card fees. a vote on that a man coming up at 2:00 p.m. eastern. you can fall that on c-span2.
coming up at 1:00 p.m., will be at the white house for today's briefing with jay carney. we expect him to make some comments on the federal debt. that is live here run c-span. the 11th circuit court of appeals is hearing an argument during with the health care law passed last year. the case is being brought by 26 states who band together in law.sition against the colora could fall live on c-span radio and c-span.org. >> connect with c-span on line with the latest schedule updates and video on twitter. political places in washington quare.yond with fours
c-span and social media, connect today. >> the role of fannie mae and freddie mac in the 2008 financial collapse. henry kissinger on whether to form a true economic partnership with china. paul allen talks about is now memoir, "idea man." sign up for "book tv" alerts. >> janet napolitano talks about the security efforts following the recent killing of osama bin laden. she looks for to the 10-year anniversary of september 11.
>> think you for allowing me to come back -- think you'll from hank youme back -- t hank o all for allow me to come back. i have been speaking about homeland security because it is a new went ever-evolving field, and one that as the dean mentioned, covers a range of topics. she looked at the departure of homeland security, as it was created by the congress after the attacks of 9/11, its responsibilities range from
counterterrorism to securing our borders, meaning air, land, and say, immigration -- air, land, to cyber security, which is a fast-growing area more and more important each day, to disaster response and recovery. whenever the source of the disaster is -- a terrorist attack, another man cause a disaster, or mother nature. so for example, right now, we are responding to federal declared disasters in 28 different states in a remarkable and fortunate record -- unfortunate record-setting spring for tenants -- tornadoes and floods across our country. we have a vast range of responsibilities.
of the priority for the department was, it is, and will remain the counterterrorism issue. how do we protect the people of the united states from being the victim of an attack again? and how to do that in a way that respects our own life and liberty? sworn to asgh we're attorneys and as members of the cabinet, we are sworn to uphold . so what to talk with you about that fasten our work.
somebody who is dealing with issues on a day in and day out basis. i believe that right now is an opportunity -- an opportune time to discuss the ongoing threat that our nation still faces. right now, we are between two focusing events. one, of course, is the killing of osama bin laden. the next is the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.
what we've learned from the osama bin laden operation confirms what i think many in this hall of new or suspected for a long time. al qaeda and its affiliates remain determined to target the west, particularly the united states, both here and there our interests abroad. as we move forward over the coming months to commemorate what happened on 9/11, and share the remarkable stories of the men and women who perished in the attacks here and that the panel -- pentagon, as we decaled the progress the country has made over the past years, we have to recommit ourselves to the notion that, unfortunately, the world we inhabit is a world where it terrorists exist and where they continue to focus upon the western united states.
-- on the west and on the united states. where are we now in relation to where we stood on 9/11 court shortly before it? i am confident in saying that our country is stronger than we were a decade ago. we have bounced back from the worst attack ever on our soil. we have made significant progress in many friends needed to protect ourselves. i think tarnation is smarter about the threats that we face. and how to bait -- best to deal with that. we have used this knowledge to make ourselves more resilient. to threats and disasters of all kinds. i want to pause on resilience. i mean the capacity to bounce
back quickly after a crisis. like we saw at ground zero, and that the new york stock exchange, which reopened four days after the attack, now with investments that have been made and capacity building across our country, working with first responders, state and local authorities, we have seen remarkable abilities that the state and local level to show resilience from mother nature. when you think about what is going on in alabama, mississippi, missouri, the ability to bounce back from the storms has been enhanced in part by the efforts we invested in to fight terrorism but that, in fact, allow us to respond better, more effectively, to a disaster.
let me go back to my major point. the threats from and terrorism are still here. they are not going away. they are real and they are rapidly evolving. they demand our vigilance and the demand our willingness to learn and adapt. perhaps that no other time in our recent history, this point between the attacks of 9/11 and when we will commemorate the 10th anniversary, is the time meant to say that we have to rethink how we deal with terrorism. understand that one of the evolutions we have made is to say that counter-terrorism is not just a government function. it is not just a federal function.
it involves states, it involves a local law enforcement. it involves the first responders. it involves the private sector. it did involve individual citizens. it involves a sense of shared responsibility. that we as a country are all in this together. while different parts of us leverage different types of strength, the fact of the matter is everyone has a stake in the safety of our people. as we move forward, we look back on the last 10 years and notice that i now be the third largest department of the government. it is part of the largest reorganization that has taken place in our nation's history.
we have reoriented not just the agencies within dhs but also the department of justice and the fbi toward the prevention of terrorist acts. we have invested energy and resources to assimilate the knowledge we have gained and to use it and to share it to inform and empower a broader, more inclusive range of people and institutions to become a part of the homeland security architecture of our country. as we move forward, that architecture, that sense of shared responsibility, is a guiding philosophy of how we will proceed. let me turn to the nature of these threats we are currently
facing. the terrorist threat confronting the united states right now has evolved significantly over what was 10 years ago. in addition to the direct threats we continue to face from al qaeda, we also face growing threats from other terrorist groups inspired by al qaeda and their ideology. they may have few operational connections but they certainly are inspired by al qaeda. we face a threat environment where violent extremism is neither constrained by the international border nor limited to any ideology. one of the most striking
evolutions we have seen recently, we have seen this accelerate even during my 2 1/2 years, plots to attack the united states increasingly involve u.s. persons. american citizens. based on the latest intelligence, we operate on the assumption that individuals prepared to carry out terrorist attacks may be in the united states now and could carry it out acts of violence with little or no warning. we have been dealing with an increasingly diffuse source of terrorism. a smaller methodology of attack.
what do i mean? the big plot, the big conspiracy that involved years to develop, to train and have white school, to be able to what the night air carriers, those kinds of plots -- to be able to go and train at flight school, to be able to weapon guy is air carriers -- weaponize air carriers, those kinds of plots are not the kind we see now. what we see now are more diffuse, smaller, quicker to happen events. they can evolve -- involve a single person. it is near impossible to stop a single person if there is no one with him that person a
sharing information or thought. there is nothing at that point to interrupt until something occurs. as we move forward, we believe the increasingly savvy use of the internet, mainstream and social media, and information technology by groups like al qaeda to inspire those who live abroad or who live in our country now has added an additional layer of complexity to the problem of terrorism that existed prior to 9/11. we should be very clear that now there is no single portrait of a would-be terrorists. research and experience that has it shown that an individual's ethnic or cultural background does not explain why a small number of individuals choose to take their radical beliefs down a violent path. we have no interest in policing beliefs or in profiling based
on factors like religion. not only are those practices illegal, they are ineffective. that is why we need to be working with a broad range of partners to gain a better understanding of the behaviors, the tactics, the techniques, be other indicators that could point to an anticipated activity. the best way to mitigate that activity from being successful. if he think about the nature of -- if you think about the nature of the evolving threats, what has changed, while we need to be focused on, that bears with it some implications.
the fact that new kinds of threats can come from any direction and what with the warning of spends much of our thinking about terrorism prevention. that thinking has changed not just from a decade ago by even a few years ago. it does not mean that we still do not need a strong military or topnotch intelligence operation. the very kind that was used to kill osama bin laden. nor does that mean we focus on the domestic. there is an international aspect to much of what we do in homeland security. when we look at the tactics and techniques that could be used to waged an attack, we have to think about aviation.
might not be able to weapon is a plane -- weaponzie a plane, but what about smuggling explosives in your underwear and the changing planes in amsterdam and find over canadian airspace to get to the united states? aviation. supply chain security. i was speaking about that very near. what do i mean? the movement of goods and commerce around the world. it is a possible avenue for a tax. -- for attack. for example, the intent at of yemen just this past october. also international in nature. information sharing about terrorism, human trafficing,
science and technology, the things we are learning to better find, detect, mitigate against possible attacks. internationaln dimension to them. as we talk about the evolving threats, one of the implications is to recognize that even when you have the department of homeland security, it is actually international. we are working in 75 countries. we have the third largest international footprint the bandied federal department. -- international footprint of any federal department. i have travelled to 20 countries, several of them multiple times. what we do need to do is recognize that with the ever
evolving nature of the threats confronting us, we have to get away place where every part of our society is cognizant of the kinds of threats that are out there and empowered to take common sense steps to help counter that. how do we do that? first of all, we tried to reduce some of what i have just spoken about to a short phrase. the short phrase i want you to walkout of here with, and this is the first one, homeland's security begins with hometown security. all of us are now stakeholders in the effort to keep families and communities, our businesses, our social networks, secured and a resilient. what does that mean? we have to have a distributed sense about security.
how does that take a fact? what are some of the indicators? there are four key parts. we now have 72 fusion centers throughout the united states. a fusion center is a place where local, depending on where you are, arco located so that information can be gathered and shared. and but that through the prism -- and looked through the prism of all the eyes and ears at state and local law enforcement. we have greatly expanded something called the nationwide suspicious activity reporting initiative.
it is an initiative that trains state and local law enforcement to recognize that behavior is an indicator is related to terrorism and other threats and that standardizes how those observations are documented, analyze, and shared back to the department of homeland security. back to the fbi. and then that can be taken and converted into products that can be read shared -- re-shared throughout the united states. we are talking about the analytic capacity to bring intelligence from the rest of the country back into washington, d.c. the third aspect of how we are in powering people is the launch of the new national terrorism advisory system which we just recently did in april.
the and the task is the replacement for the color code system. say goodbye to orange. we are not using that system anymore. it did not give people information. it did not get business is information. it did not give state and local law enforcement information. if you walked into an airport, airports have been at the level or range since the year 2006. rather than have a color code system that nobody paid attention to, except maybe jay leno or david letterman, to have a system where we presume that the base level of risk now incorporates ongoing risk.
our base of all is hired -- base level is hire that was that 9/11. if there is credible information about a threat, the base level can be elevated or described as imminent. when we do that, that warning can be limited by geography, sector, any number of ways. importantly, under the system, any warning given expires on its own after two weeks unless the review of the intelligence suggested need to be continued. that is important for a practical reason -- once somebody raises a threat level, it is difficult to take an act to to bring it down. when you have is an ever- increasing pile of levels. people do not pay attention anymore.
the whole idea is to have a system that communicates information that people pay attention to that is relevant to real time situations. finally, the fourth element of the shared responsibility is, if you can see something, say something. homeland's security begins with hometown security. see something, say something will be the second phrase i wanted to walk out of here and remember. it is a simple and effective public awareness program. it began a series in new york with the transit authority. the whole purpose is so that people will be alert and not alarmed. they know that if they see something and toward or unusual,
they should reported to the appropriateness -- the proper authorities so that it will be dealt with. we have expanded to federal buildings across the united states, two major transit systems, like amtrak, to sports and entertainment venues. you have to think about the soft targets through the hotel industry. when you add those four together, each of these four elements learn from and build on each other. and they help us in any number of ways. to carry them out, we have trained in nearly 50,000 law enforcement personnel on sars. we have worked with local and
community organizations on lessons learned. we have implemented lots of new training and we're doing all of this and incorporating every single thing we do while protecting privacy, so right, and civil liberties. like michael said in the introduction, there is a false dichotomy if we have to sacrifice liberty for security. we do not. which is set to think about the much the same time and look for pragmatic and common-sense ways to make sure that both are being pursued. as we have worked across the country, we have become not just
stronger, but a bit smarter. we learn from every incident. we learn from what we have done in different states, in .ifferent locales the new vigilance project catalogs cases since 9/11 that we can now share across the country. now are better equipped in states and localities around the united states. we are beginning to hear some of the things that have been saying -- echoed back to us. that we we know that the messages being received. security fromut
an individual standpoint. we recognize the role that the public plays. according to one recent outside analysis, from 1999 through 2010, there were 74 plots properly characterized as terrorist. there were a total of 74 plots foiled. there were motivated by a variety of ideologies -- al qaeda-al qaeda-tech affiliates, representing about half. what is most -- al qaeda, al s,pe affiliate' liate'
representing about half. when you had the fact that federal, state, and local law enforcement, in terms of the other remaining plot, came from old-fashioned shoe leather -- from old-fashioned police work, knowing neighborhoods, those two things combined together are at least 80% in the plots that have been foiled. vigilance expressed by individuals, vigilance as practiced by train first responders and law enforcement makes the future -- makes a huge difference. reform also means the winnie to
engage in regular discussions -- means that we need to engage in regular discussions. we have seen an increasing sophistication from cyberspace, including using major news events or natural snow disasters to target and suspending -- to target unsuspecting users. we all have to be willing to keep moving, learning, and do a bit more. we can learn more about the
signs are indicators of potential criminal terrorist acts and say something to the proper authorities. it was a street vendor, after all, who, last year, drew the police to the times were bombing attempt. in january, it was an alert city worker in spokane, washington, who alerted to a backpack that could have led to a bombing of an mlk parade route. we need to make sure that our children are practicing safe cyber habits and that we are cognizant of what they're doing online. this is especially relevant in the wake of several major bridges and fishing attacks that recently treated the american public. and we can all take the basic
steps necessary to know how to do with an emergency when it happens. there is a lot of experiences in the last few weeks with ofmunication systems because tornadoes. people cannot call each other on their cell phones. there's no way to do it. they did not know whether a family member had survived or not survived. those families that had reunification plans, where they would all congregate if something were to occur, they were in good shape. for others, there were hours, in some cases days, to locate one another. those kinds of efforts sound so base as almost to be too simple, but they're not.
why? ist we're talking about every single person incorporating in an understanding the role but they play. that is a big challenge for us. we are used to, in many respects, not listening to these types of efforts when, in fact, we need to be listening and power and more. we are still a young department -- and empower in more. ing more.power i we are still a young department. let me close with the notion that what i have suggested to you today about the evolving nature of the threat that you
may have heard some about -- although i am not sure that people in whose auditorium recognize how quickly this thread is evolving, nonetheless, it is there. you may have heard of some of the things we have -- we're doing, but have not put them into a total frame of step. perhaps you have not really thought about the role that each of you play. for decades, we have looked at civil defense then neighborhood watch programs to be elements of our own protection. we have accommodated to new threats as threats have changed. when we were in the midst of the cold war, we all knew where the
closest fallout shelter was and we learned to hide under our desks. we learn to keep children indoors during the polio epidemics. some of things sound silly on retrospect. but we need as a country to keep adapting, to think ahead, to be nimble, to be adaptive as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. we have reached great strides. given that, we cannot apply guarantees. while the things discussed with you today are in step 4, we will never put this country under any kind of a glass dome and sealift against all threats, whenever the threats origination. we need to know that we have to deal with risk.
we have to maximize our ability to prevent something and toward from happening. we have to minimize the disruption that a successful attack could cause. on the one hand, we have to be proactive and thoughtful, thinking always what could be around the next corner. on the other hand, we need to have confidence that we have built in our communities the ability to respond and to come back. it is exactly that confidence that we perceive. our greatest source of strength and our greatest sense of security will lose ultimately rest of with any machinery, not with any technology, not with any one federal department. it will always rest fundamentally all the citizens of our country.
thought-provoking thoughts today. i am one of the code directors of liberty national security program here at the brennan center. i will enter -- i will moderate our question and answer session with the audience today. there are two microphones on either end of the room. please identify yourself to the people holding the microphones. the understand that we have 15 minutes to 20 minutes for questions and answers. so please keep your questions short. when you take the microphone, please identify yourself so we know who is speaking. since i am the moderator, i will ask the first question. a one to us do, esoteric, but something you mentioned and the suspicious activity reporting system. it is a system by which to collect information on the state and local level and funnel it in a way that is useful with anti-
crime efforts around the country. how do we guarantee the quality of the information that is going into the system? when we are collecting information, how do we guarantee that it is not affected by policies that occur among individuals? finally, -- affected by biases that occur among individuals? >> from a law enforcement perspective, when we're talking about suspicious activity reporting, this is the discipline. there is a product called about what kind of information, how it is being collected and handled at the local and state level, how is to be forwarded.
there is a curriculum to teach the protocol. when i talk promptly personal that have been trained, they have been trained in accordance with the protocol. we have a whole department within dhs on civil rights and civil liberties. the helped create the protocol. they help outside groups look was held the suspension -- healthy suspicion. we want to make sure that we're turning square corners. that is one with it we do it. the second thing is that one of the real capacity-building to do acrosswe need our country is get intelligence
and analytical ability out of washington, d.c. and added to the country. that way all the data, removed from local context -- one of the first acts i did as secretary was to take intel analysts who were working in d.c. and move them out to work directly in the fusion centers themselves so that they could train others in analysis and also so that we have a more organic sharing of information of in the few senators before it came to washington, d.c. let me describe an example of how this works. i use a real case. there is an individual named saw as a -- named zazi. he was chris-crossing the
country -- he was crisscrossing the country. he was building back that bombs. there were hydrogen peroxide- based. that is a datapoint. that is intel. had you turn it into formation sharing? you share information about what kind of bombs were they, what kind of power they have to suggest that local law enforcement investigate local beauty suppliers for high- quality sales. we did not know if it was a unitary plot were there were several others planning to go out at the same time.
i hope and gives you some of the info-sharing aspect we're trying to build here, to get information to washington, but also to get information back. >> i think we're ready for questions from the audience. >> i am a tax attorney. i am a loyal supporter of the obama administration. a recent article in "the new yorker," it was reported that, under the bush administration, there were several office of cuddy's -- several facilities in texas and utah to collect information in e-mails in america. if it was the truth, under the
obama and administration, has the and say shut down the collection efforts -- has the nsa shut down the collection efforts? >> i cannot answer because i do not know that information. we are working with the nsa. if you look at cyber security, pursuant to president obama's instituted at the beginning of his administration, this is a rapidly evolving area. there are things all through the government where people had different responsibilities and a budget lines and so forth. under the review, the department of defense has the responsibility for the dot mill
universe. dhs is responsible for individuals. we both need to use the nsa. we were going to build two different nsa's. it is a huge national asset. and it is really impossible for application on any common-sense basis. we negotiated how each of us would use the technical resources of the nsa. under our memoranda, the folks from the department who are as a the nsa have also with them people from our office of privacy, people from our office of civil rights and civil liberties, and people from our office of general counsel. we do not want to the american
people fearing that, in our effort to protect the cyberworld from attacks from the things that are under our jurisdiction, in our effort to do that, we're going through and improperly collecting and retaining their personal data. >> what are your thoughts on the rebuilding of the world trade center? would that make it a bigger threat than it was before? still, what can the federal government do to work and security between the nypd and the port authority. >> could you please identify yourself? >> fox news. >> the decision to rebuild is a local decision.
some of the leaders of law enforcement and first responders community are here at the lecture this evening. i think them for that. i am very confident that whatever decision made with the people of new york city your theory will protected. >> i embarked still live -- i am bart gelman from "the times." as i understand it, you keep images and have not said whether you destroy it any of
the data afterward or if you share it. can you explain that policy? >> the longstanding law has been that the powers of the government that the borders, in determining who and what comes in, are different than when saionce you're in the country. the border issue is that it is different. our authorities at the border are very large. we have huge authorities and huge responsibilities there as to what comes in the country and under what circumstances. that authority -- it is an old law. no new law has been created
here. that authority has expanded laptops. from a proportional basis, there is a small percentage of laptops that have been seized at the border to look for things like -- in some cases, they have found planning literature. in sum, they have found pornography, child pornography in particular, and the like. those are turnover to a level local u.s. attorney is for possible prosecution. i think there is a public misconception that we are simply willy-nilly taking
laptops and reading them for our own wishes. that really is not true. it is the 73 we have to search somebody's backpack with the coming to this country. as i said earlier, the authorities are longstanding and have service to good avail. >> hello. secretary of paul tsongas, thank you for being here. the other co-director of the national security coronation program at the center. you spoke to about the importance of information sharing and you also spoke about lendl and state law-enforcement now being at the front lines -- about state and lalocal law- enforcement know they hit the foul line of homeland security.
they have difficulty sometimes getting the information they need to do their jobs because the classification system -- the system for classifying documents that the federal level, which has been the same system in place since the cold war -- emphasizes compartmentalization , meets no restrictions, a lengthy and cumbersome process for getting clearances, and, in a very swift, make it difficult for people to get the information they need a month at -- they need on a timely basis. sometimes the information that the money to be classified as classified. how have you dealt with more experienced this issue and where some of your thoughts about potential solutions to make information sharing more effective and to do with the
issues that classification causes? >> i agree. we really need to be as transparent as we can. we need to do with classification in a way that facilitates information sharing, particularly on a real-time basis, on the kinds of things that we're dealing with on their regular basis. i think you can address it a couple ways. one is a look at the classification system itself. we have been working with doj of just that pursuant to a presidential directive. the second is to increase the number of people who are qualified to receive information that different in higher levels of classification. one of the efforts made at the fusion centers, for example, as increase the number of people there who have access to classified information in their own right.
but third we to do with it is to more quickly to wrap products that can be shared for purposes of general threat information, contextual information, situational lawrence. for example, but i'd been laid in was killed, -- the night bin laden was killed, there was information that was able to go out immediately. >> my name is jacob could win. -- jacob goodwin i do not mean
this to be an insensitive question, but i want to ask to a sharp question. you said earlier in your remarks that there is no single portrait of a would-be terrorists and that the administration has no interest in profiling, not only are they illegal, but also an effective. common sense tells me that, in most of the cases since 9/11 where we have made arrests, it would not be profiling to discover that most of the suspects or the convicted parties have been typically under 35 and muslim. i guess my question is how you square what most people say if they are talking to you that
common sense would say that those are the appropriate parties to focus more attention on considering they are mostly arrested. that's a said that all who are under 35 are muslim, not at all. but why would not the department focus more of its attention on that category of individuals who have turned up most often as a suspect. >> because you're not using good logic there. you have to use actual intelligence that you received. all you have given me is a kind of status. you have not given me a technique for tactic or behavior. something that would suggest that somebody is not moslem or islamic, who has actually moved into the category of violent extremists.
we have way is to make some of those cuts. they involve intel that comes in with the analysis that goes on. for example, we often times, for travelers entering the united states, we will not do what is called a secondary inspection just because they are a 35-year- old male who appears to be muslim, whatever that means. but we know from intelligence that if they have a certain travel pattern of recent in -- trouble pattern over a certain period of time, that raises a number of questions. we continue to focus ourselves and to focus those with whom we
work and those retrained -- and those retrained, but not on status, but actual behavior t patterns -- actual behavior patterns from what we have learned that could translate into possible terrorist activity. >> i think we have time for one more question. over here. >> thank you, secretary. i have some very brief questions. the first question is that new york state just opted
out of court communities. about a month and a half ago, the year committee was glad to hear that the department rescinded its program. is there some sort of mechanism in place to do with those cases? >> yes to the second and we will talk with you outdoors so it can get to the information on that. with respect to secure communities, let me describe what is for the audience. it is an information sharing agreement between us and the fbi that says, when an inmate is booked into a jail or prison and their fingerprints are taken, they are not a leges criminal databases, but against immigration databases. it is part of our effort on the immigration side of things to prioritize those in the country
illegally who are also violating other criminal. were you find those persons first? the jail's first. such is a play, that voters turning. that focuses ice where it needs to focus. with respect to your, there has been a lot of miscommunication and understanding about care communities cannot ignore -- care communities. we have to accept responsibility for that. but the plain fact of the matter is that it is a federal inoperability information sharing system. anyone agree to be in it or out of it was inaccurate. >> thank you very much, secretary.
resuming tomorrow on the federal debt. over on c-span 2 this afternoon, you can follow the debate in the u.s. senate. the underlying legislation is the reauthorization of the economic development administration. the real debate today is on credit card or debit card fees. a vote is coming of the 2:00 p.m. eastern. the vote, again, it is coming about 2:00 p.m. eastern. while we wait for the white house to get underway, we will take you to this morning's washington journal and for an outside the beltway perspective on the financial health of the country. journal" continues. host: joining us is diane swonk,
the chief economist's have the firm mesirow financial. thank you for being with us. guest: my pleasure. host: there are a lot of headlines dealing with the economy stemming from the jobless rate of 9.1%. martin feldstein, a former senior economist to the reagan administration, says the economy is worse than you think. what is your assessment? guest: martin has been one of the first to say -- to bring the ball on the housing bubble, and he got angry at the fed for not doing something sooner. this is something he has been talking about for many years, and was one of the first to warn about it. i agree that the u.s. economy remains fragile. although we have technically convert -- crossed our previous high w